It was a short, but scrumptious run for Yola’s Coffee & Cafe in the Lakebottom Park area of Columbus.
The bakery, coffee and sandwich eatery operated by Phenix City resident Yola East closed its cafe doors last Saturday, although East said Tuesday she will be filling a few orders from her kitchen at the 1815 Garrard St. business in the coming weeks, and more if she receives them.
“We still have our business license,” she said. “There’s a few cakes I’ve got to do. But we’ve closed the store. We’re sorry, but we’re very thankful that everybody supported us like they did.”
Quality wasn’t an issue. Yola’s Coffee & Cafe — which opened in early spring of this year — racked up glowing reviews for its baked goods, artisan breads, desserts, soups, pimento cheese and chicken salad sandwiches, and customer service.
“Great pimento cheese sandwich and blueberry scone,” Lisa Jones commented in March on Yola’s Facebook page. “I bought some French bread, ginger chicken rice soup, and chicken salad to go and can't wait to try it!”
“It was my first time in the store today, and I think I left with quite an assortment,” said Melissa Berry Buice in May. “The pimento cheese was wonderful, and the peach cobbler rivaled the best I've ever had. Picking up cookie trays tomorrow for work and planning on taking some sausage and kale soup for lunch. Everything looked fabulous and the service was excellent!”
Said Rae Pierce in August: “Great coffee, sandwiches, and desserts that are always delicious! You can't go wrong here!”
Despite its loyal fans, however, in the end there just wasn’t enough customer traffic for Yola’s to survive, she conceded. Her baker and chef colleague Michael Kimball also left the breakfast and lunch eatery a while back to work at another restaurant downtown, she said.
“It just didn’t work out like we thought it would as far as taking in more money to cover everything than we were having to pay out,” she said.
East said she will take some time to decide what her next move will be.
“Several people have already called me this morning saying if I do something else or go somewhere else, to let them know,” she said.